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Old 04-08-2014, 09:15 PM   #1
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New fuel tanks

I'm looking to replace the fuel tanks on my 1971 GB36. After a lot of looking at options, I'd like to go with steel tanks. If they last as long as the originals have I'll be more than happy. I'm curious about recommendations in the Puget Sound area for where to get it done. I'm in Olympia, but wouldn't mind going some where else to get the best job. Any suggestions?
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:47 PM   #2
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Why steel?

I love my poly tanks as it's a snap to see what I've burned and have left in a glance.

Fueling is easy and n chance of a spill unless I fall asleep.

Lightweight (when empty)...easy to slide around if I need to get behind or under them in the future. Easy to remove and clean every couple years if necessary or if you get a load of bad fuel...

So far I see no downside except no bottom feed to the fuel lines.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:02 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard! You might want to rethink going. Steel.
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:26 AM   #4
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Give some thought to whether steel tanks, even new, will affect the resale price.
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:13 AM   #5
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Steel is good as you can have a real fuel tank created that is very easy to maintain the fuel.

As opposed to box of fuel a big PIA to cruise with.

One example of a real Fuel Tank,

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Old 04-09-2014, 06:43 AM   #6
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Mate if you can get well built and coated steel tanks into your boat without too much hassle then go for it.
They will outlast you and the next owner.
Ensure that they are built with adequate baffles, access doors and a reasonable sump for water and sludge collection.

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Old 04-09-2014, 06:50 AM   #7
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While I agree that certain features are desired and steel properly built will last a long time....BUT....what feature are REALLY important for a 36 foot boat. Will the fuel and tanks get treated more like a small ship???? If not...there is more to the "equation" to think about.

OK that was my last post suggesting the OP rethink...sorry I don't have a suggestion for supplier...but there are those that will build and certify USCG fuel tanks...but some of them are quirky about certain designs or mods outside their comfort level.

You don't HAVE to have USCG certified fuel tanks if you can't get one built to your specs so any welder can whip you up one that is comfortable with self designing it.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:45 AM   #8
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I had Port Townsend Shipwright's CoOp fit new steel tanks as part of an extensive refit. I thoroughly recommend these guys and they aren't that far away from you. They will remember my project. Fabrication is fairly straightforward, good priming and epoxy painting is not difficult either. But long term success is dependent on good installation. My steel tanks will last a very long time - even the old ones lasted over 30 years and we fixed the root cause of the external rusting during the refit (poorly designed engine room vents).

Having said all that, I agree with psneeld in that poly tanks are worth considering as well if off-the-shelf sizes suit. Sure they can be fabricated to your dimensions as well but that adds some cost. Not sure about sliding them around - they will have a lot of mass when full and need to be securely fastened. But I see the weight advantage as significant and it all helps - its an easy win to go poly.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:45 AM   #9
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If all that is wanted is a fuel box , a properly installed set of plastic fuel boxes will be the least effort, and longest lasting. The installation is more complex than metal, but no big deal

Till you get a batch of crap fuel you have to deal with.

Instead of a low time effort to drain the sump till its clear of water overnight (De Emulsifier helps)

Its call for help pumping the tank, filtering the goop, and saving what you can.

Install a high pick up tube and find the gunk/water with the first rough patch of sea.

Sometimes prevention IS the best cure.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:51 AM   #10
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Well..maybe...all I have to do is pump out the bad fuel (which most people do anyway into a 55 gallon drum for cleaning or disposal)...take out one deck support (5 minutes), take off a couple hose clamps and hoses, then carry the tank up to the oil disposal building...dump the few gallons on the bottom, pour in a little solvent swish it around, pour that out and reverse the whole procedure.

The whole proces should take about an hour to clean one tank and it will be as clean as it was when I bought it ...plus I can see if any crud remains without fancy gear or even a flashlight.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Well..maybe...all I have to do is pump out the bad fuel (which most people do anyway into a 55 gallon drum for cleaning or disposal)...take out one deck support (5 minutes), take off a couple hose clamps and hoses, then carry the tank up to the oil disposal building...dump the few gallons on the bottom, pour in a little solvent swish it around, pour that out and reverse the whole procedure.

The whole proces should take about an hour to clean one tank and it will be as clean as it was when I bought it ...plus I can see if any crud remains without fancy gear or even a flashlight.
And with your smaller tanks, you are turning the fuel over a bit faster, so the chances of crud or water building are less.
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:37 PM   #12
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If I were the OP I would seriously consider steel only if the tanks were easy to install and remove. Otherwise aluminum seems best but if I had to do a re-tank again I'd look hard at plastic.
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:32 PM   #13
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If I were the OP I would seriously consider steel only if the tanks were easy to install and remove. Otherwise aluminum seems best but if I had to do a re-tank again I'd look hard at plastic.
20 years ago I went from steel to aluminum. If I had to do it now I would go with plastic.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:52 PM   #14
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agree with Mr Sneed , plastic easy to put in & easy to take out if needed. I have 4 50 gal tanks.works for me

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